HCV (Hepatitis c Virus) is the leading cause of liver failure and liver transplants. It can also cause inflammation of the joints, blood vessel problems, and pain and weakness of the muscles. Inflammatory problems, muscle and blood vessel problems are common in people with HCV, in fact, they can often have those issues before they even know they have the Hep C Virus.
Facts About Hcv
- HCV patients frequently have rheumatic diseases
- HCV usually has no symptoms
- In the past blood transfusions spread the disease but since 1990 strict testing of blood donations have stopped that, it is now spread through risky lifestyle behavior such as sharing dirty needles or unsafe sexual practices
- People who have just been diagnosed with rheumatic diseases or abnormal proteins in the blood should have a hep C test
- Some medications like interferon used to treat hepatitis C can cause or worsen rheumatic problems.
What Causes Hepatitis C Related Rheumatic Diseases?
Infection from Hepatitis C is the cause for rheumatic diseases associated with pain in the joints, muscles, and connective tissue are the most common; followed by complaints of fatigue and swelling of both joints and blood vessels.
This is the result of the immune system fighting the hepatitis c virus. It can affect people of all race and sexes.
How Is Diagnosis Made And Treated
Symptoms of HepC are often absent so the diagnosis is made when the blood serum contains the immune proteins that are fighting the virus then a second blood test to find the virus in the blood confirms the diagnosis.
Treatment consists of combinations of drugs such as antiviral and protease medications with standard hepatitis c medications. Drugs used for other forms of arthritis can be used to help with joint pain however they can cause additional problems of toxicity to the liver and worsen the hep c virus.
How To Prevent HCV
- Protect yourself by using only your own needles and practice safe sex
- The new screening protocols in 1990 also have reduced risks
Living With Hepatitis C Virus-Related Diseases
Living with related diseases of HepC can be tough, making it harder to do things you used to do. If you make sure both the rheumatologist and your doctor for your liver are working together they should be able to help you find medications that will help ease the pain of joints and muscles without doing more damage or have terrible side effects for you.
Things To Remember With Hepc Related Diseases
- Not all joint or muscle pain is related to the virus
- The new drugs used in combination have helped ease these problems
- The best approach is that various specialist work together to form a plan that works for you
- Rheumatic disease related to Hepc Virus can begin before the hepatitis c virus is even found
- Support groups also provide much-needed support and ways to handle your hepatitis C and related issues from related rheumatic diseases from it.